Definition of Hapten

Hapten: In immunology, a molecule that is incapable, alone, of causing the production of antibodies but which can do so when fastened to a larger antigenic molecule called a carrier.

The term "hapten" was taken from the Greek verb "haptein" meaning "to fasten or bind." Haptin and haptene are alternative forms of this term that was first introduced into usage by the pioneering German bacteriologist and immunologist Paul Erlich (1854-1915).


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Search MedTerms:


Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.


STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!